Saturday, April 26, 2008

Brevity is Not My Strong Suit – My Memoir In Six Words Plus 477

More than a week ago, I was tagged me for a meme by Jennifer at Grow Where You are Planted. Usually I only put meme’s on my personal blog, but since the tag was for the recently popular “Six Word Memoir” I thought I could come up with something profound to turn into a story for Becoming Me. Throughout the week I thought of myriad ideas to complete this meme, but not one yielded anything resembling profundity. Each idea I came up with was at best cliché and at worst nonsensical.

The more blog posts I read featuring this pithy meme, the more I was convinced that this was not the game for me. Some memoirs were witty, some were awe-inspiring, and some were draped with such simplistic beauty and eloquence that I had to close my eyes and quiet my heart as the message resonated within. And then I read a blog whose author unknowingly inspired this post. My friend Linda arose to the challenge, wrote her lovely six word testimony, and spurred her readers to do the same. I left a weak comment stating that I may give it a whirl, but that “brevity is so not my strong suit.” Linda quickly responded informing me that if I took out the so, I’d have the six words I needed. She wrote in jest, but hit a home run. I had my six words. Profound? No. The best descriptor for me? Yes. I do think so.

I am a woman of many words. That is funny, because I married a man who speaks only a few. If The Professor were asked to describe his wife in one word, he’d, without a moment’s hesitation, say “complicated.” If I were given the same task, I would first pause and respond with something like “Uh, well, it depends on the moment. If it’s raining, I’m….” I would exhaust 30 minutes if the inquisitor’s time listing one word for 500 scenarios. Brevity is not my strong suit.

There is a time and place for being wordy. My girlfriends appreciate my essays on why they do not look fat in their jeans or why I think it is OK for them to spend a few hours alone and guilt-free. Being long-winded and detail oriented has its place. But so does silence.

Life brims with emotional firestorms that words cannot soothe. Those are the times in which I am learning to stifle my advice, quiet my words, and pray for God’s voice and love to cover the weightiness of the moment. When miscarriage, severed marriage vows, and devastating illnesses ransack the lives of loved ones, a tender embrace speaks volumes. It is in those moments when six words are all that are needed, I’m so sorry that this happened. It is then that brevity, whether or not it is my strong suit, becomes a gift.

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 (NIV)





56 comments:

the160acrewoods said...

lol okay I don't know if I could do it in 6 words either... perhaps because I couldn't find 6 descriptive words that suited me, or perhaps because I want to use more... hehe.. complicated, sounds about right!

Becoming Me said...

Thanks for making me smile Amy and for being the first to comment.Consider yourself tagged. :-)

a Tonggu Momma said...

I believe this might apply to me as well. :)

Lynn said...

My husband will sometimes just look at me and comment, "You have so many more words to use up in a day than I have." so true...so...so true.

Those that faithfully read your blog are so glad for the beautiful way that you express your words.

His Girl said...

I struggled with this so much longer than I should have, myself. I am not exactly known for my brevity, either... and I'm still second-guessing my decision :)

Great Job!

Glass Half Full said...

My hubby is a quiet man too, which I envy at times. I learn time and time again to refrain my mouth and think before speaking. Why is something so easy, so hard to do?

Lori

♥ Joyfulsister ♥ said...

I just did my first meme, I was also a lil hesitate, but thought I'd try one just this once. What I did enjoy about it was reading the other women's memoirs some of them really touched my heart I could just sense their spirit opening up in a way maybe they were not quite used to expressing about themsleves. Yet there was such a humbleness in the way they answered. I know I had to go back and really look at mine and ask the Lord to help me see why I had chosen my six words, and he did!.. By the way did I ever tell I was blessed reading your profile.
Hugz Lorie

Beautiful Grace said...

Beautiful!!!

Xandra said...

Isn't Linda great?! I struggle with this as well, with all the pros and cons. I'm trying to focus on Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

Enjoyed visiting your blog....

Xandra

sara said...

That was beautiful! I just read this after getting a call that a friends loved one was in a severe accident. Your words spoke volumes to me today...thank you.

e-Mom said...

Wordiness certainly comes with our gender! (Our brains are wired for speech in a way that the male brain isn't--usually). I'm grateful for that, and for all bloggers. :~D

DidiLyn said...

Hey there!
You won my bloggy giveway for a signed Randy Alcorn book. WooHoo! and all that.I hope you love it as much as I do.
You won Deadline and I'll send it out as soon as you send me your mailing address. DidiLyn@aol.com
Congratulations!!

Tiffany Stuart said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the 6 word memoir. :)


Thanks for your comments on my Untamed post. I'm thankful it touched you. I often worry about my word pictures, wondering who on earth could relate to my strange visual imagery. So hearing you could blesses me.

Thanks, dear.

Renna said...

Brevity isn't my strong suit, either; and yet, I'm not an overly chatty person. It's when I go to write, that, in my desire to provide all the necessary details to accurately paint a picture, I tend to turn what should be a brief paragraph into an epic of sorts. See, I just did it again.

Your post was very moving and inspiring, and I could say that in a few sincerely written words!

MaryBeth said...

Awesome post. Perhaps brevity IS my strong suit.

LaskiGal said...

Oh, you have such a lovely way with words . . . oh, and brevity is NOT always the soul of wit! :)

Mocha with Linda said...

I just love reading your words, whether they are 6 or 600! This was full of wonderful wisdom. I, too, can be way too verbose. But the ministry of silence speaks the loudest sometimes.

Pam said...

I am pretty wordy myself. I take days and hours to say what everyone else seems to say in two sentences. I'm just like that - I ramble. I go on and on (kind of like now!).

Oh yes- we can still be friends even if you are an Eagles fan.

The Binkley Family said...

Thanks for playing along. It was definitely something to think about, huh?

Angela said...

I'm just sorry I took so long to respond. Thanks for understanding. ANd thanks for thinking of me to begin with.

runningtherace said...

I married a quite man as well, and he has taught me the fine art of silence and alone time. Granted, he needs abundantly more of both than I do, but I appreciate both much more because of him. It wasn't until I ran out of things to say on a long road trip that I realized how nice it was to take in the scenery in silence. I had missed so much while I was talking.

Andrea said...

It's not mine either! However, God in His wisdom takes away my longwindedness when it comes to those tragic situations. And in those I have learned the truth you have shared - that sometimes the best words are none at all.
(And I was very happy to put your button on my page - you're welcome!!)

GrandCanyonMom said...

The first time I learned about this truth (your brevity, or lack of) is when you first left me a voicemail. That's when I knew we were meant to be friends. My husband heard it along with me and he said, "she leaves messages like you." What can we say?

Thanks for the great post and wise words. I know I am still at work to get this tongue of mine briddled. Sometimes silence is good and a hug is even better.

CC said...

Thank you for this post. Lovely. I'm considering my 6 words right now.

Stacy said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I don't think I could do my memoir in 6 words either.

Corinne said...

I love it. I am a woman of many words as well (much to my husband's frustration, sometimes, hee hee)

Lisa writes... said...

Brevity is not my strong suit either...but I love reading your additional 477! You have a gift of words and I am blessed on every visit!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Perfect!!! I love it. very original!

I have been tagged twice by this and still haven't done it . . . brevity is totally not my strong suit, either.

Natalie said...

That was such an eloquent post. Having just posted about my past miscarriage, those few words would deemed themselves appropriate during that time. Thank you for your sensitivity.

lisasmith said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I was so touched by your story of your struggle and victory (praise God) with ppd. Others will surely be blessed by your transparency. I will be back!

kmom3 said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. It is nice to meet you!
This is a beautiful post. I, too, am a woman of MANY words, and God is having to teach me when to just be quiet.
I looked around and saw that you are posting on your PPD. I am so glad you are willing to be open and honest about this. Women need so desperately to know they are not alone. May the Lord speak through you mightily (with a few words or a lot), and may He greatly touch your life and the lives of those you minister to.
Blessings,
Kimberly

debbiewhitlock said...

I stopped by your blog for the first time today, I really enjoy myself. I will be coming back to read more.

I love the "Becoming Me" that is totally awesome.

Debbie

ShalomSeeker said...

Perfect! :-)
A sister on Non-brevity Island,
-J

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

I can so relate to this post! I also read your last post on PPD and can relate as well, as I suffered similar symptoms with my second born. Thanks for your honesty and wit. Can't wait to read more!

Genny said...

Loved this post. Brevity isn't my strong point either, so I can completely relate! Thanks for giving me something to think about!
Genny

~Java Mama~ said...

You know I thoroughly enjoy dressing up my words and elaborating my stories as well as allowing someone to completely understand where I am coming from, kwim? I have to be honest, i had to look up what exactly brevity means. What does that mean for me? I think I definetly lack the ability to express much in few words, I always end up with a few more 100 words to elaborate the first few.

6 words? I don't think i could do it and if I tried it would take me a long time to write out all of the 6 word combos and figure out which one best fits.

Thanks for visiting me and encouraging me!

JOYfully in Him,
Kelli

Katie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! It is so nice to meet you!

Katie

faraja said...

Hi :) So nice of you to leave a comment when you visited me!

I can relate...brevity is not something I'm known for either - whether writing or speaking *sigh*

Steph said...

My husband is a quiet man also. It frustrates me at times, but others I have to wonder what the heck I'm talking about anyway...
This was beautiful.

Ronel said...

WOW!!

I am at at loss for words.

Thanks!

Tonya said...

I love that you said you're a woman of many words while your husband is a man of "few." (You guys sound EXACTLY like my husband and me) He used to tell me that I talked so much throughout the day that my LIPS should "smoke" at night. LOL!!!

Anyway.. I think you're GREAT and am ALWAYS blessed when I visit you. =-) I think you did a super job with this memoir. ;-)

it's me, Val said...

That really really was touching. I loved it. I am like you. I like to talk and say my opinion. My husbands very rarely says anything. I find that you and I are more alike each day. Blessings to you, friend!

Irritable Mother said...

I, for one, enjoy your wordiness, and appreciate the way you express it. *grin*

Ashleigh said...

Oh, goodness, this is SO me. You wouldn't believe how much I take out of each post I write, or how many times I have to delete and then figure out how to reword something to use half as many words. And, like you, it works out being married to a guy who talks much, much less than I do. :)

(And, btw, I accidently stumbled on your blog tonight, and then it clicked that this was the same "Becoming Me" who comments on my blog. I've really enjoying reading through some of your archives, esp. the ppd posts... those ones hits close to home.)

Madison Richards said...

There is indeed a time for everything; a season for every purpose.

I am a big fan of words, but also of a wordless embrace. Touch can speak volumes, and sometimes we touch with words, other times we touch with our eyes or our hands.

Thanks for once again sharing your heart.

My cup runneth over... said...

I thought I left you a comment before, but after checking realize I didn't...this was such a great post and one I can SO relate to. I often think about how I can't ever tell a story briefly. There are truly days when I pity my poor hubby because of the thousands of words that spill out of me. (He's such a good guy!) Loved your memoir and all your words!

Blessings,
Tracy = )

Alana said...

I have many more words in writing than I do in real life. Which may be why I have not tackled my tag from Xandra for the 6 word memoir ;-)

Great post.

i'm kelly said...

beautifully written... and i'm with you, i don't think i could do 6 words, not one of my strong suits either.

Natalie Witcher said...

nice one

Wifey said...

I love reading your posts! You have a gift with words, I'm glad that brevity is not your strong suit - smiles!

Wifey said...

Oh, I don't think I ever said anything, but I added you to my blogroll - smiles!

Mycrazylife said...

Oh Yes. I have a tendency to be verbose and certainly have not mastered silence, but the small victories have been honey to my soul and to the ears of others.

Becoming Me said...

You know, when I first started this blog I prayed that God would help me be OK if no one commented. But the fact that you all do comment means so much to me. I appreciate every single one of your sweet remarks. I sometimes struggle with whether or not my writing really ministers to others and if it even makes sense to others. Your kind words give me that extra encouragement that I need. Thank you.

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

Love this post! Brevity is not mine either, but it sounds like our husbands are similar. Maybe I use so many words to make up for him using so few! :)

Elaine A. said...

Yeah, I would have an issue doing this too. I am pretty long-winded myself. Not a bad thing to be, but yes, sometimes I just have to ask for the grace to know when to be quiet. : )

Nice post.

Gretchen said...

"Those are the times in which I am learning to stifle my advice, quiet my words, and pray for God’s voice and love to cover the weightiness of the moment. "

Beautiful. And much needed for me. i laughingly joke that an opinion is a terrible thing to waste, but really, there are so few times when it should be shared. Listening is often enough.

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